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Actor James Coburn Dies - 2002-11-19

Hollywood tough guy James Coburn has died of a massive heart attack at the age of 74. The actor was known for his roles in action films and won an Academy Award late in his career.

He was born in the plains state, Nebraska, in 1928 and studied acting in New York and Los Angeles, honing his skills on live dramatic television in the 1950's. James Coburn first achieved stardom in 1960 with a role in the classic Western "The Magnificent Seven."

Later, he starred in two popular spy spoofs, "Our Man Flint" and "In Like Flint." He had roles in other action and adventure films, including "The Great Escape," the story of Allied soldiers who broke out of a German prisoner-of-war camp. In 1976, he starred in the war drama "Midway."

In the 1980's, James Coburn struggled with severe arthritis, which left one of his hands crippled. He all but disappeared from the screen. He returned in the 1990's to act in a string of movies, winning his only Oscar as best supporting actor in 1998 for his role as a dissolute father in "Affliction."

His manager, Hillard Elkins, says the actor suffered a massive coronary, Monday, at his Los Angeles home, where he had been listening to music with his wife. Mr. Elkins gave his view on how James Coburn would want to be remembered. "As a guy with a sense of humor, who could talk, argue, and act, perhaps in that order."